Literally Illiterate

cough head offLiterally, A Web Log:

Misuse of the word “literally”? gets my blood boiling (no, not literally). It started as a nit-picking distraction, grew to a frustrating obsession, and finally resulted in the creation of this blog.

An example post: literally coughing his head off.

There are a few blogs about bad grammar:
The Grammar Vandal
Triangle Grammar Guide
GrammarBlog

A Comma Controversy

Serial comma is a:

…comma used immediately before a conjunction (such as “and” or “or”) in a list of three or more items. The phrase “ham, chips, and eggs” is written with a serial comma, but “ham, chips and eggs” is not.

So what? you say. Well, it’s a big deal for editors and many writers. The Case of the Serial Comma:

People who know nothing else about punctuation recite this error with conviction, which says something ominous about the state of English language instruction. Why have many English teachers taught this wrong rule? Are they truly unaware that press style is for journalists and that we have a wealth of better authorities for standard American usage?

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss first introduced its controversy to me; I posted her punctuation quiz before.

I use the serial comma. “He ate a sandwich, bag of chips, and a cookie” makes more sense to me than “He ate a sandwich, bag of chips and a cookie”.

How To Use An Apostrophe

The Apostrophe Protection Society

was started in 2001 […] with the specific aim of preserving the correct use of this currently much abused punctuation mark in all forms of text written in the English language.

It’s about time!

They list the simple rules for using an apostrophe with this note:

We are aware of the way the English language is evolving during use, and do not intend any direct criticism of those who have made the mistakes above. We are just reminding all writers of English text, whether on notices or in documents of any type, of the correct usage of the apostrophe should you wish to put right mistakes you may have inadvertently made.

They’re much too polite.

Grammar Does Not Bite

Grammar Bytes!:

The goal of the site is to cover each type of sentence error in real depth [at least 100 sentences of practice with detailed explanations for right and wrong answers]. For those folks who are wondering, the title of the site is not an adjective-noun combination meaning “little bytes of grammar.” Oh, no! It is instead a subject-verb combination that means grammar study bites in the most slangy sense of the word.

Their interactive exercises are nicely done; I didn’t know what a fused sentence was before.

(via The Presurfer)